Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Stephen Donnelly TD has called on the Government to redouble its effort on improving the quality of life for those who are living with cystic fibrosis.
Deputy Donnelly made the comments ahead of 65 Roses Day which will take place on Friday 13th April. The annual event helps raise awareness of cystic fibrosis and enables Cystic Fibrosis Ireland to fund the services such as exercise grants, transplant grants and bereavement counselling.
There are an estimated 1,300 children and adults in Ireland affected by cystic fibrosis.
Deputy Donnelly said, “Ireland has made enormous strides in recent decades in improving the quality of life for those living with cystic fibrosis. Forty years ago, people living with cystic fibrosis were not expected to reach adulthood. Today there is a much different picture as average survival rates have risen by more than 70%, to 30 years.
“These improvements have been achieved by enhancing access to advanced medical treatments, the implementation of specialist treatment centres and the wider availability of advanced new drugs. However, the Government must not get complacent. While major progress has been made down through the years, there is clearly scope to do much more to help improve the quality of life for those living with cystic fibrosis.
“The Programme for Government contains a commitment to build a dedicated cystic fibrosis centre at Beaumont Hospital. We are still waiting for the Government to deliver on this commitment. Furthermore, the commitment to put in place the necessary staff and resources at specialist treatment centres remains an outstanding issue. The Government needs to move to address these issues.
“This Friday should serve as a reminder of the achievements that have been made in helping those living with cystic fibrosis. However it must also be a wakeup call for the Government that much more still needs to be done.”